It will be a miracle if Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar and his team of financial prognosticators are right about the arc of the state’s economy over the next few months.
Tuesday’s primary runoff elections in Texas, held during an appalling rise in coronavirus cases and a relative low spot in the presidency of Donald Trump, didn’t look like much, in historic terms.
The real question for thousands of Texas Republican delegates on the invitation list for what was going to be an in-person state convention next week is just like the one facing parents deciding whether they’re comfortable sending their kids to school in a few weeks.
“We’ll leave the light on for you” is a motel chain’s slogan. It also appears to be a principal coronavirus measure for the state of Texas, where the number of available hospital beds is more influential with top leaders than the number of sick or dying Texans.
The Texas Capitol has a capacity of 6,000 “if you throw the doors open,” according to state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth. It was closed for cleaning for two days this past week, after COVID-19 made its way into the ranks of the state police who guard the building.
San Marcos and other cities have found a way to keep money flowing into their accounts in spite of the economic shutdown: the international shopping venue known as the internet.
After more than a week of nationwide demonstrations sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, top Republican politicians in Texas are suddenly allergic to racism.
The swarm of Texas politicians snarling at one another about how to run elections turned into a lawsuit — bringing hope, maybe, that some panel of wise judges would sort things out, make things clear, save the day.
As some pandemic doors are slowly opened, others are getting kicked in. Either way, individual choices are quickly replacing the weeks of government instructions about what and what not to do.
Really opening Texas would require the governor and like-minded officials to actually put businesses in a situation where they could operate and make money.
According to Republican leaders of the senates in Washington and in Austin, the next round of federal coronavirus legislation ought to include blanket liability protection for companies that reopen in the face of the pandemic.
If it lasts, last week’s plunge in oil prices could hit the Texas economy in ways that make it much harder for state and local governments to help the state’s residents.
The state government is about to administer an IQ test. Ready? Would you rather vote by mail from your own home or stand in line with a bunch of other masked registered Texas voters and risk falling victim to the coronavirus?
Austin has one of the best independent bookstores around. It’s called BookPeople. The general manager is Charley Rejsek, a former Texas Tribune employee who recently returned to the book business.
Political people have noticed the dissonance on Gov. Greg Abbott’s support for local control in the face of the new coronavirus and his disdain for it in recent battles over property taxes, rideshare regulations, paid sick leave and other local policies.
Disasters always test leaders, but a pandemic isn’t a hurricane or a tornado. It doesn’t come and go in a day or a week. It’s not confined to a geographic area. It’s invisible. It preys on the social ties that bind us into communities, cities, a state.
The political caravans depart for other primary election states today, leaving the surviving Texas candidates to sort through the results and get ready for the next stage — the quieter but important runoff elections that will decide who’ll move on to the general election.
Legislative majorities make the rules, and they almost always contend that the rules are there to protect legislative minorities.
Whatever happens in politics this year, however red or blue or purple Texas turns out to be, the state’s longtime emphasis on primary elections has shifted to general elections.
Even the kids in the elected class have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads, dreaming at the end of another year what might be next in politics, and for them.
Beto O’Rourke started his campaign for U.S. Senate with the same sad visibility the current troop of Democratic hopefuls is battling today.
By next week, we’ll know who’s going to have a primary. We’ll know who is going to have a fight in November, who’s quitting and who isn’t quitting.
Who would have guessed that sharing political confidences with a political foe — a conversation that upended the speaker of the Texas House — would have real competition for the biggest blunder a House member might make this year?
You’ll know Texas leaders are doing a great job when you hear people in the private sector say they wish their businesses ran like the state government.
Ignore Beto O’Rourke’s misbegotten presidential campaign for a moment, and give the El Paso Democrat his due: He is the reason Texas Democrats are hopeful and Texas Republicans are worried.
Within a few blocks of the Texas Capitol, the metamorphosis of Dennis Bonnen from hero to goat has been the lead topic for weeks, ahead of the president, the Cowboys — everything but the Houston Astros.
While trying to limit the annual growth of property taxes in Texas, the Legislature gave local governments an incentive to raise taxes nearly 8% this year. Maybe it was unintentional, but the state gave the locals a reason to raise property taxes faster than they would have without state action.
It seems safe to say that neither the Texas Legislature nor Republican Party is going to follow Beto O’Rourke’s call for a mandatory buyback of assault weapons.
The Texas Legislature’s once-every-decade quest for new political maps will get a twist in 2021: The Texas House will have either a speaker whose trustworthiness is suspect or a brand-new speaker who’ll be riding in the wake of a scandal.
Texas state Sen. Royce West, as it turns out, does a lot of government business. Not that you’d know that from reading the disclosures he’s required to make as a state lawmaker.
For all of the Republican talk about which GOP legislators are true enough to the conservative flag to deserve reelection next year, the real 2020 elections battle will come after the party primaries are over — in a general election where voters decide which party controls the Texas House.
A school in Texas can fail to meet state education standards for four years before the state shuts it down. A lot of students can go without the education they're due in four years' time.
Add my hometown of El Paso to the list that, in Texas alone, includes Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe — places people were shot where they went to pray, shop and go to school.
Repeated court findings that Texas has intentionally discriminated against minority voters aren’t enough to impose federal oversight when it’s drawing political maps and writing new election and voting laws.
If you were doing to your children what the U.S. government is doing to the children in its custody on the Mexican border, the government might send people to your house to save them. At the least, it’d sound the alarm.